It's a bittersweet coincidence of fate that the same day that's darkened by news of the passing of Ray Bradbury, the long-reigning master of the literary science-fiction tale, also brings us some magnificent footage captured by a NASA spacecraft during yesterday's ultra-rare transit of Venus across the blazing face of the sun.
If you like what you see in the video embedded here, head over to the official NASA website, where the Goddard Space Flight Center has posted the material for download — it's all in the public domain. (There's no word on whether a higher-res version will be made available, but the 720p/60 footage posted is a reasonably beefy 2 GB for three minutes of footage — that's around 90 Mbps if I'm doing the math correctly.) Be warned that the server is getting slammed — I'm managing a little more than 110 KB/sec for the download, so I haven't even watched the full-res clip yet.
Bradbury became a bit of a technophobe in his old age, railing against cell phones, ebooks, and internets, but I'll bet he would have enjoyed this. And, in the spirit of speculative fiction, I'm having fun imagining what kind of technology might be used to capture images of the next transit of Venus, due in December 2117.